Ask any facility manager what the toughest type of floor to keep clean is, and we are willing to bet they answer with grouted floors. Grout, tile and stone are all porous materials, which means they act as magnets for grime and make it difficult to remove. Deep cleaning grouted floors is necessary to remove moderate to severe soil buildup, but following these tips can restore your floors to like-new conditions.
Step One: Consider the Type of Soil
Certain types of cleaners remove certain types of soils better than others. Acidic cleaners, for example, are most effective at cleaning soils with alkaline bases, like hard water. These soils can form insoluble salts that are removed by acid in cleaners like Betco’s Green Earth Peroxide Cleaner.
These soils commonly found in restroom areas can be effectively cleaned with acidic cleaners:
• Soap scum
• Mold and mildew
• Hard water stains
To eliminate acid-based soils, greases, fats and oils, use an alkaline cleaner or degreaser, like Betco’s Ultra 2000. This formula works to break down soils, then suspends them in solution for the most efficient cleaning.
Alkaline cleaners and degreasers are perfect for tackling:
• Cooking oils and greases in cafeterias and kitchens
• General embedded soils
• Body oils in locker rooms or shower areas
• Motor oil
Step Two: Consider Your Floor Type
The cleaner you use should also be appropriate for your floor substrate. Many cementitious and natural floor types, for example, react negatively to acid-based cleaners. When contacted with an acid-based cleaner, the chemicals in these floors can oxidize, causing stains, etching and other damages.
If you have terrazzo, marble, travertine, quartz, concrete, lime stone or sand stone floors, we recommend using a cleaner with a neutral pH, like the Green Earth Peroxide Cleaner mentioned above.
Acid cleaners may be used on porcelain, glazed and quarry tile and are also appropriate for use on grout lines, slate and brick.
Degreasers should never be used on glazed or porcelain tile.
If you aren’t sure what type of floor you are cleaning, use a mild peroxide cleaner like Green Earth to play it safe.
Step Three: Use the Right Equipment
To effectively clean the crevasses in stone, tile and grout floors, choose the right equipment and accessories. If using a disk auto scrubber, opt for stiff brushes. We recommend green turf pads for orbital machines, and if you are forgoing equipment and using manual cleaning methods, we recommend using a stiff bristle brush or broom for best results.
Step Four: Seal Properly
Most porous stone, tile and grout floors should be sealed after cleaning to prevent dirt embedment and staining.
To seal the floor, first make sure it is clean and totally dry. Next, completely saturate all surfaces and grout with your sealer using a squeegee, sponge or synthetic mop. For best results, apply the sealer at a 45-degree angle. Finally, use a second coat of sealer on more porous surfaces.
Still need guidance on choosing the right cleaning products in Bismarck for interim cleaning of your stone, tile and grout floors? Want more advice on restorative maintenance? We are happy to help! Contact us today with any questions!